Over 50 global high profile individuals sign up to UNICEF UK campaign.

David Beckham will later today meet Prime Minister David Cameron, urging him to take immediate action to tackle the hidden cost of hunger that affects 180 million of the world’s youngest children.

Beckham, who is a longstanding Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, will visit No. 10 Downing Street to personally deliver a letter to Cameron that has been co-signed by over 50 of the highest profile sporting and entertainment stars from around the world. The impressive list calling for action is diverse and includes Ewan McGregor, Michael Palin, Lewis Hamilton, Robbie Williams, Claudia Schiffer, Whoopi Goldberg, Orlando Bloom, Lord Ashdown, Boris Becker and Alex Ferguson. 

As hundreds of thousands of children continue to suffer from malnutrition across East and West Africa, the letter urges Cameron to use his position to help reduce the number of children affected by ‘stunting’, the little known side-effect of hunger that can cost children their future. Stunting relates to the irreversible damage caused to a child’s brain and body if they don’t get the right nutrients in their first 1,000 days of life. 

In the letter David Beckham and his co-signatories call on the Prime Minister to keep child hunger and stunting at the top of the agenda starting with an event on Hunger that the PM will host on August 12th and into 2013 as the UK takes on the G8 Presidency.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham said: ‘Stunting - when children don’t get the right nutrients in the first 1000 days of life - is the hidden crisis stopping millions of children around the world reaching their potential. It’s irreversible. It means children get trapped in lives of poverty.

It shouldn’t be like this. Action must be taken now to change children’s lives.

During the coming weeks all eyes will be on London for the greatest show on earth. As a UNICEF Ambassador, I am asking the Prime Minister to use the global spotlight on our nation to make children around the world the real winners of these Games.”

UNICEF UK Deputy Executive Director Anita Tiessen, added, “We applaud the Government for taking the lead on this silent crisis affecting tens of millions of children worldwide.

However, in the light of the current global food and financial crisis, investing in child nutrition for the poorest and most vulnerable children is more urgent than ever.

The time to act is now and we look forward to seeing committed action on child hunger and stunting, starting with the end of the Games and continuing into 2013.”

Beckham, who has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF since 2005 and first became involved through Manchester United FC, has travelled to Sierra Leone in 2008, and more recently the Philippines, to see how the organisation provides food, clean water, protection, education and healthcare to children and young people.

In Sierra Leone, Beckham met numerous children whose lives were at risk from hunger. UNICEF, a global leader on child nutrition, helps children suffering from hunger in the world’s poorest communities, including boosting maize and other foods with vitamins and minerals so children can get the nutrients they need and making sure communities receive the food and supplies needed so their children are well nourished.

The public can also show their support for children suffering from hunger and stunting at unicef.org.uk/hunger.

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For a list of all the high profile signatories or more information about UNICEF please contact Alicia Jones on 07738 014271 or email aliciaj@unicef.org.uk or Rowena Campbell on 020 7375 6206 or email lizj@unicef.org.uk.

About UNICEF

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk.